No Knead

Lots of people claim that you can make almost anything in the crockpot. They are probably right, but it doesn’t mean that the end product will be as good as if you had used the traditional method.  My crockpot isn’t the right size for some of the cake and bread recipes, so I can’t try them anyway.

You can use the crockpot to make bread even without plugging it in!

You’re bright enough to know that there’s a catch.  I didn’t bake the bread in the slow-cooker. I just mixed the ingredients in there, put the lid on, and left the dough to rise for 18 hours at room temperature.

Various people have praised Jim Lahey for his no-knead bread recipe. I’ve seen a post on Facebook, targeting people that don’t like the exercise. More recently, I read Ruth Reichl claim that it was a good recipe for days when you started making bread and the power goes out. The logic is that you can just keep punching the dough down until you can turn on your oven and finish baking.

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Since on Presidents Day I wasn’t sure if we would be home at the right time intervals for a traditional yeast bread, this recipe seemed appropriate. The photo of a rustic loaf was also enticing.

The mixing bit was quite easy. Just measure the dry ingredients into your bowl (or crockpot, in my case) and stir in the cold water. Place the lid on top and leave it. No need to knead.

The next day I gave the dough a little bit of a stir with a spatula and left it for another hour. Once your dough has doubled in volune a second time, you’re supposed to nudge it onto a floured surface and form it into a ball.  Then you’re supposed to get it onto a cornmeal dusted kitchen towel where it will rise one last time before you transfer it to a preheated casserole in a preheated oven.

Sticky dough isn’t my favorite thing. Flour or oil on my fingers is necessary before dealing with dough, because I hate the bother of scraping little bits off my hands. Suprisingly, the batter-like, no-knead dough was easy to work with. Almost all of it came out of the crockpot with one scrape of the spatula. As I nudged it into the a ball, the masa de harina (I combined the flour and the cornmeal steps ) helped it keep its shape.

30 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered in the oven. 1 hour to cool before you can slice it.

Today I took some with me to work for lunch.  The crust was a bit leathery and the texture was chewy, but it wasn’t bad.  It isn’t a recipe for soft, sandwich bread or tender dinner rolls, but if you’re looking for something with soup, you might be happy.

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Categories: Bread, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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